July 18, 2005

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Daily linklets 18th July posted by Simon on 07.18.05 at 04:02 PM in the Daily linklets category.


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I know the linklets have been getting longer at times. I am actively trying to cut down on the number of links in each edition, trying to make it a "best of" rather than an all in link fest. However sometimes there's just far too much interesting stuff being written out there to ignore. Don't blame me, blame those linked.

As always, feedback and comments are appreciated.

posted by: Simon on 07.18.05 at 05:39 PM [permalink]

This entry of mine is very off topic, I know, but it may interest all those who share a concern for the issues of free speech and of cyber censorship, as well as those interested in the study of ethnocentrism, and in the ways that Westerners view countries like China though ethnocentric eyes.

It is addressed to KLS, a contributor to Richard's Peking Duck site:

Dear KLS,

I have just finished reading the comments on the weekend thread of Peking Duck, and noticed that you are unhappy with the type of site that Richard runs.

Let me begin here, by stating, for the record, that I do not hold any animosity towards you for "exposing" on Peking Duck the fact that I frequently copy and paste from other peoples' articles without always acknowledging the source. It was never a secret though. I openly discussed this practice of mine with Lirelou way back as far a last November or December - and on the pages of Peking Duck. I discussed this again with Conrad more recently. The way that Richard presented this habit of mine though was, as far as I am concerned, clearly way over the top. He invited his readers to join in on a witch hunt, and his copying and pasting of a baby photo from somewhere was clearly designed to humiliate me.

I admit that it is bad practice to copy and paste significant passages from other peoples' articles without acknowledging the source - but what Richard fails to appreciate is that I normally copy and paste from a variety of sources - sometimes from a dozen in one entry - in order to present an argument of my own. I produce a collage, in effect. Sometimes I place what I paste in quotation marks and acknowledge the source or the author, sometimes I don't. It depends largely on how much of a hurry I'm in, or on how lazy I'm feeling at the time. What I do really, is little different from what any journalist or academic writer does when they're putting together an essay or a polemic, except that I do not take the time and the care to properly acknowledge all of my sources. I should, I know, but Peking Duck is only a blog site for Christ's sake - I'm not writing for publication, or anything like that. I simply push a particular discourse, to test its strength. Usually, the discourse reflects roughly what I myself actually believe. I'm not the big fraud that Richard makes me out to be.

O.K. I accept the criticism though. It is bad practice, and I have already apologised to his readers for not taking the trouble and the care to always acknowledge all of my sources.

My response to this situation, as you would know, was to present myself merely as a creation, as a persona, no different from Dr Myers. This, to some extent, is true. I did create Dr Myers, and the Mark Anthony Jones that I present on Peking Duck is in many ways not the Mark Anthony Jones that I present to my friends and colleagues, who is different again from the Mark Anthony Jones that I present to say, my grandparents for example. We all, I think it is fair to say, alter our behavioural patterns quite automatically, depending on the social scene we're in.

So why did I create Dr Myers, and why has the Mark Anthony Jones Peking Duck persona changed over time? Well, that really is an easy question to answer. I'm bored!

I work as the Academic Director for a Chinese company licensed to manage training centres that deliver a university foundations program. I'm paid very well, but we have no training centres open yet, and I have been here in this job for just over one year. This is my fourth year in China though.

So basically, for the last 13 months, I have been paid to sit in a nice air conditioned luxury office, in front of this computer, but with absolutely no work to do! I'm not exaggerating when I say that. I sit here from 9 to 5 each week day, in front of this computer. I'm the only foreigner here in this office, and normally the only other person here is the secretary. So reading Peking Duck is one of the ways I entertain myself while at work. I am often busy here though, but not with work. I correspond with many friends, family members too, and I also contribute to other blogs (not China blogs).

Now, why has the Mark Anthony Jones persona changed over the last 13 months? Well, not merely because I am bored, that I seek entertainment. The change also reflects my changing attitude towards Peking Duck. I simply don't take the site seriously. I don't take Richard seriously either.

For the first three months, I seriously thought that Richard Burger was somebody aged in his early to mid twenties. I got this impression from his writings - from his hysterical rants, etc. From the way he interacted with me, often in ways I found to be irrational and juvenile. It came as a real surprise to discover, after doing some research on him online, that he is aged about [edit]. He may even be [edit].

He is definitely lacking in the maturity one might expect from a man of his age - he is emotionally volatile, and is prone to hysteria. For example, he once banned me from his site because I described one of his ideas as "ridiculous". That's right! I kid you not! I was always polite to him, I never used expletives, not towards anybody. I described one of his ideas as "ridiculous" and that one adjective was enough to get me banned. He sent me an email saying "I'm offended. You're banned." I had, at the time, absolutely no idea why I had been banned, what it was that I had done to offend him. He deleted the offending sentence, and banned me! And yet, he can trivialise me as a "sad Marxist", label me an "American basher" and distort my views, and that's quite acceptable behaviour!

On another occasion, Richard baked a photo of a grossly overweight woman sitting at a park bench, with her panties showing beneath her dress. The woman clearly wasn't aware of this. Richard wrote beneath the photo something to the effect that: "Just what I want to see on a lovely spring day!" In other words, he was inviting his readers to enter comments that make fun of this woman. And of course, they did. "She makes me feel like vomiting" wrote one commentator. You can imagine the rest: the comments were sexist and misogynistic. I of course, launched into a massive attack against both Richard and all of his other commentators, accusing them all of being misogynists, and questioning the maturity and ethics of such puerile behaviour.

Richard's response: he deleted the entire thread - photo as well as every comment. He was clearly embarrassed by the entire episode. All traces were deleted!

And then there was the SARS debate - I argued that SARS was a storm in a teacup, and that the Western media exploited the scare to push a particular discourse - that China is inferior, incapable of coping with crises of this nature, etc. Well, Richard accused me of taking an immoral stand, completely twisted and distorted my entire argument, and then closed the thread, preventing me from being able to make a reply! I stopped contributing for about two or three months out of protest. I admit here too, that I was so pissed off at the time that I rather irrationally and immaturely threatened him with a lawsuit for defaming me, and I am embarrassed about that. But still, his behaviour was outrageous.

When I resumed, I did so on the grounds that I was merely going to play around, to provoke a little, to stir things up a little, to entertain myself. O.K. Juvenile of me, I know - creating Dr Myers, Steve L, and Bryce. I even turned myself, Mark Anthony Jones, into more of a persona, and at times engaged in a little self-parody.

Peking Duck does attract some intelligent readers and contributors, true, and sometimes some really interesting conversations do develop. I really did appreciate the debate I had with Conrad about the legality of the US base on Guantanamo, for example. I pushed a discourse (that pushed by members of Cuban Solidarity groups, and yes, I did paste a slab from such a website, but I also on that occasion acknowledged the author of those views, and once again, my comments took the form of a collage. The point is, Conrad engaged meaningfully with me on that one, and he successfully destroyed two of my three arguments. I really did benefit from that exchange, because now I have a clearer understanding of the legal issues of that case. He wasn't able to completely destroy the argument that I presented, but he smashed two thirds of it.

But in my opinion, Peking Duck isn't much better than most of the other China blog sites. They're all pretty disappointing as far as I am concerned. Gordon's site, The Horses' Mouth, would have to be the most puerile, spiteful outpouring of bile that I have ever come across. It's just utter crap. Most of these people know little about China, most of them are not fluent in Chinese, and they seriously lack balance. They produce hate sites! I've said that to Richard before, and he was mortified by it, but I stand by the claim. It's a hate site, and one which encourages a pack mentality. If somebody addresses any of the positive legacies of the CCP, then they are labelled as CCP operatives and are then promptly gang raped and bashed.

And the Chinese, more generally, are viewed through ethnocentric eyes, which explains the condescending nature of many of the more "China-friendly" comments.

Filthy Stinking No.9, who supposedly has a PhD in history, projects a typically ethnocentric world view, his comments about the French and the Chinese are sometimes bigoted and chauvinistic, and yet he tends to be one of the more level-headed among the regulars. He has had the hide to accuse me on several occasions of being “anti-American” – well, I have NEVER said anything ever that is inherently anti-American, but he always labels me as such on the basis that I am very critical of US foreign policy. I have actually praised certain US foreign policies on Peking Duck – like certain aspects of the Bush administration’s Taiwan policies, but that is overlooked. FSN.9 though, by contrast, does say things that are fundamentally inherently anti-another nation. He said, in an earlier thread for example, quite explicitly, that “The French are scum.” So FSN9 is quite a French-basher, quite a racist bigot, it would seem, yet he presents himself as a scholar, as an academic, a China authority worth listening to.

Martyn can call me a "sad fu*k", a "sad shit" and tell me to "fu*k off", and another commentator here got away with telling American Man to go "fu*k himself and his dog" - and this was quite acceptable. But I got banned, about six or seven months ago, for politely suggesting that one of Richard's arguments was "ridiculous".

As I said, I do not take this site seriously. Eight months ago a guy named Greg wrote his first comment on Peking Duck, in which he argued that there is some reasonable cause for optimism about China's ability to adequately address its environmental problems. Richard responded by viciously attacking not only his views, but him personally - "you know nothing about China" said Richard. Greg responded by asking Richard why he responded to his first comments on the Duck in such a condescending manner. Richard's response to this was to ban Greg immediately – though Greg, I believe, also behaved provocatively BUT NOT initially!

A lawyer named Kevin, who currently resides in Shanghai, on another occasion, posted a comment accusing Peking Duck of being a hate site that spews out little more than “puerile bile” though he also acknowledged some of its strengths and potential. No expletives were used, yet Kevin's comment was deleted as soon as it was discovered, and Kevin was banned.

Greg, Kevin and I are by no means the only people to have been the victim of Richard’s censorship practices either. Sam from Shenzhen Ren has written about his run-in with Richard, and how he was banned, and if you log onto the following site “The Peril and Agony of Free Speech” (www.urielw.com/bosco1.htm) who can read all the details about Richard’s censorship of Uriel.

So here we have Richard, who constantly criticises the CCP for its censorship, also censoring almost everybody who criticises his views or his site. He can allow some people to make personal attacks against others, using the most foul of language, and that's O.K. That's entertainment. But one single polite adjective like "ridiculous" is totally unacceptable, if it is used to describe one of Richard's own ideas.
Just take a look at today’s open thread - if you’re honest with yourself, you will appreciate why I think Peking Duck is hardly a site to be taken seriously. We have two conversations going on, both of which are ridiculous: one is condescending, rude, disrespectful and outright ethnocentric, in that it takes an incident in which a mother allegedly allowed her child to sh*t on somebody’s floor, and then proceeds to belittle the Chinese. Gordon, rather typically, joins the rant, saying that it reminds him of the post where he “ranted about the woman letting her dog sh*t on the floor in front of the elevator.” Simon then joins in by telling American Man that if he “had taken a photo, it could've become like that Korean chick with her dog sh*tting on the train” and then Gordon, once again, in his usual rude and spiteful manner, seeks to humiliate Binfeng by saying to him, “Bingfeng, did your parents let you sh*t on the floor when you were a baby?” Quality reading, right? And such maturity too!
The other conversation taking place on this thread revolves around the ridiculous question of whether or not China may go to war with the US, and here we get commentators like American Man belittling the Chinese yet again, saying that they all “still live in caves west of Xi’an”. This of course, will be seen as humourous by the majority of Richard’s regulars, and probably by Richard himself – but of course, this is not a hate site. It doesn’t mock and belittle the Chinese people, it merely serves as an anti-CCP platform, right? Yeah, sure? Anybody capable of reading will know the subtext.

And so entered Dr Myers, to mock and to parody, but without the need to resort to any expletives. I had fun with her, while it lasted, as juvenile as the entire exercise may have been. And being Mark Anthony Jones was fun too. Together, they helped to expose the worst in Richard and many of his other regulars. Cyberspace, as I discovered through what really did, towards the end, develop into a deliberate conscious social experiment, resembles very closely the schoolyard! Blog communities can indeed, when not supervised by mature adults, degenerate into the kind of situation explored by William Golding in Lord of the Flies. Richard is a little like the character Jack, telling his readers what they want to hear about China, and instigating attacks and smear campaigns against those who dare to challenge the orthodoxy of his views. And as for his readers, for his flies, well, they provide yet further evidence to support Golding's view that people will always band together to single out others as scapegoats, especially when directed to do so by their perceived leaders. Richard is a little Hitler, or another Mao! (O.K. So I'm unfairly exaggerating perhaps, but you get my point!)

I’m tempted to post this letter onto his site, just for a stir! But I will refrain from doing so - I'm trying to behave like the 35 year old that I am!

Or maybe…? Well, maybe I will post it on the Duck after all. I mean, to do so would be no less puerile than harping on about how uncivilized the Chinese allegedly are for allowing their babies to shit on somebody’s floor. My above comments might be dismissed by many as the product of sour grapes, but that’s fine. It will nevertheless hardly detract anything from the overall “quality” of this site. And if everybody else can behave like an adolescent in cyberspace, than so too can I. Peking Duck, thanks to Richard, has given us all such a license!

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.18.05 at 05:53 PM [permalink]


Your beef is primarily with Richard. If you want to take it further, set up your own site and go for it. You certainly have the time.

I'm happy to leave your comment here despite you engaging in the very personal attacks you pretend disgust you on TPD. You've always had the right not to read Richard's site, yet you choose to anyway. It is Richard's site, not yours. He can delete your comments and block you (and others) if he sees fit. That's up to him.

Sometimes the threads at Richard's site are frivilous. That's not a crime. If you don't like it, or find it juvenile, skip it. There's plenty of other posts and sites.

Your accusations of ethnocentrism are correct. But who doesn't view a place through their own ethnocentric eyes? You have cultural biases, whether you recognise them as such. For example you dismiss your plagarism because it was only done on a blog, in your words. For many others, stealing words without accreditation is wrong on blogs as much as it is in academic papers or in the media. Again, you always have the choice to not read those comments. The internet is a big place. You can go and find someone "mature" enough for you to spend your idle days.

posted by: Simon on 07.18.05 at 06:47 PM [permalink]

Dear Simon,

What you say is fair enough, but surely it is also reasonable for a person to politely criticise others for practicsing censorship - especially when they devote an entire blog site to criticising the CCP for doing just that - for censorship.

These personal attacks are constructive criticisms - nowhere do I call people names or use expletives. I do criticise people's sites and their behaviours and attitudes, but surely this is reasonable.

Richard can censor the opinions of those he doesn't like - he is indeed free to do that. I am simply questioning the ethics of it.

Surely it is not unreasonable for me to raise these concerns publically on blog forums such as this?

I acknowledge the criticisms of me in regards to my [past] habit of copying and pasting - and I have apologised for this. Still, this practice of mine was never a secret, and his response was nevertheless over the top, was it not?

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.18.05 at 06:59 PM [permalink]

Richard's response was his own and he's explained himself elsewhere.

I understand your point re censorship, but my point remains: it is his site. You are welcome to set up your own. It is his soap box, his rules, his ideas of "reasonable". There's no question of ethics. You want a soapbox? Get one of your own.

posted by: Simon on 07.18.05 at 07:09 PM [permalink]


You're hardly the person to be lecturing anyone on ethics and as far as personal attacks go, you made several of them under the guise of Dr. Anne Myers.

You are a very strange individual.

posted by: Gordon on 07.18.05 at 07:09 PM [permalink]

Dear Simon,

Peking Duck is Richard's soap box, and yes, I agree, if he wants to censor people's ideas and criticisms, then that is entirely up to him. But surely readers and commentators alike are not unreasonable to draw attention to it, or to comment on the hypocrisy of it, or to draw attention to his inconsistent standards. That's all I'm doing here. I'm not arguing that he is legally obliged to refrain from censoring people. He has every right to do so. The question is, how seriously can we take his claim to be against censorship? How seriously can we view his criticisms of the CCP, when he himself behaves in ways that are quite similar? Uriel also points this out, in the link I provide in my comments above.

Dear Gordon,

I take your point that I too launched into attacks under the guise of Dr Myers - though I never employed the use of expletives, and initially, "her" criticisms were mild, more in the form of parody. But yes, I did, in later posts, go over board. I have no legitimate excuse for that, agreed, though once again, I was, by this stage, merely entertaining myself, merely seeking to provoke, to see how people respond as a pack. It didn't start off as an experiment, but it certainly did turn into one.

But I accept your criticism, and I have already, openly, on the pages of Peking Duck, sincerely apologised for any offense that I may have caused people.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.18.05 at 07:21 PM [permalink]


Richard runs a website, who is supposed to represent.... um, no one.

The CCP is a government, who is supposed to look after the lives and well-being of over 1.2 billion people. Censorship in the two cases is very different, and although I do take your point, Richard *IS* free to do as he pleases, whereas the CCP, as a bastion of the Chinese self-interest, isn't really, or not if they want to be a helpful and respectful government. Now, you may argue that they are being helpful and respectful of their citizens, and others will argue differently. Regardless, the CCP has civic duty towards its denizens, and Richard does not.

Simon also makes an excellent point about your plaigarism. Some find it acceptible, some do not. The current system in the academy would have hung you out to dry, and it would have been the end of your career.

posted by: Laowai19790204 on 07.18.05 at 07:38 PM [permalink]

You say you've sincerely apologized, when every few minutes I get emails like this:

Richard - I am speaking here as Hillary's creator now, not as Hillary. Gordon's comment has just come to my attention, and so I want you to know that I am most certainly not stalking you. I am writing this particular email reluctantly in fact, and only because I certainly don't want you to panic, or for your imagination to run wild with anxiety. I said a few days ago that I have no intentions of contributing to your site ever again, in accordance with your wishes, using any of my cyber creations. I conveyed to you earlier today, through the words of Hillary, the fact that, should others post comments on your site under the names of any of my cyber creations, which appears to have occured on the new open thread this morning, then please ban the culprit/s if possible. I don't want you or your readers to think that I have broken my word, and that I am playing further havoc with your site. All of the characters of mine who ever contributed to your site have now all been put to death - none of them exist anymore, and their email accounts have all been closed - though each of these will continue to receive emails for 30 days, even though I can no loger access them in the case of yahoo accounts, and in order to do so for the hotmail accounts, I would need to do so by reactivating them within the next 28 days. Yahoo accounts, unlike hotmail, cannot be reactivated once closed. I don't mind you posting Hillar's lemail to you, but I, as her creator, would appreciate it if you would fix her surname name, which is Anthony-Johnson, not Anthony Jones.

And this:

Richard: This is just one last confirmation for you that my creator (the writer formally known as Mark Anthony Jones, Dr Myers, Bryce, Steve.L, etc, and who is now temporarily writing as me, Mark Anthony James, has decided to put to rest all of the above mentioned cyber characters, including me, Mark Anthony James. None of the above mentioned cyber characters will be contributing to Peking Duck from this moment on. Their email addresses have all been closed, and my email address, this one that I am using now, will also be closed a little later in the day - as I too am about to be put to death. My creator wishes to assure you that he/she bares little and in most cases no resemblance to any of the above cyber characters, though he/she does take full responsibility for his/her creations, and apologises to you and to all of your readers for any loss of face, humiliation or offense caused by their appearances on your site. My creator's use of your Peking Duck site for his/her experiments into the way people interact with one another on blog sites has now formally reached its conclusion, and so he/she wishes to assure you that he/she has no intentions of ever introducing other cyber characters onto your site at any time in the foreseeable future. My creator would also like to thank you for your overall toleranace over the past nine months, which was sometimes deliberately pushed to test its limits, and would like to acknowledge his/her appreciation to you for providing for him/her with a public forum in which to carry out his/her inductive research into the various ways that people interact with one another in cyberspace, when blogging. My creator has indeed, through his/her careful observations, been able to detect various patterns and regularities in behaviour, thus enabling him/her to formulate some tentative hypotheses, which he/she will need to further explore at a later date, but this, my creator would like to assure you, will be carried out using new cyber characters, and on a different blog site.

And this:

Dear Richard, I have decided to cease, in accordance with your wishes, posting contributions on your Peking Duck website. I enjoyed the entertainment, while it lasted, but my last post, addressed to Sam will be my last. I would like to assure you though, that, depite July's findings regarding Dr. Myer's similar copying and pasting of material, that I am not Dr. Myers. I have not been writing under her name. Conrad can thus feel assured that it was not me who was interested in accessing photos of his penis! Perhaps you might like to pass on this assurance to him on my behalf. I would appreciate that, in fact. I understand the reality though, that many commentators on your site will most probably continue to surmise on this matter - on the question of Dr Myers' identity - and that they will enjoy imagining that it was me merely writing under her name, and that jokes will continue to be made at my expense on this subject. I accept that. That's fine. I'm a big boy - not the cry baby that you imagine me to be!

Simon, I'm glad you find this amusing. If you were in my position, you might find it less so, though it's been educational.

Of course, a few minutes later he admitted he was indeed "Dr. Anne Meyers." A great and reliable source for information and opinion, dontcha think? Can you imagine what kind of person does this? So don;t take my word as to the veracity of MAJ; his own words are all you need.

Anyone with questions about exactly who we're dealing with should see the comments to this post and join the fun!

posted by: richard on 07.18.05 at 11:20 PM [permalink]

Simon, MAJ's antics have passed from merely crazy to something bordering on stalking/personal vendetta.

I really didn't expect you of all people to offer this great site as a platform for this lunatic. By engaging him, you're only encouraging him and allowing him to vent even more spleen.

I sincerely hope that he doesn't one day turn his "boredom" onto you mate and move his crosshairs over to simonworld and Simon.

It's your site and you have the right to keep or delete as you see fit mate but giving this lunatic bandwidth is a mistake in my opinion. Thanks.

posted by: Martyn on 07.19.05 at 01:52 AM [permalink]


I have to say, you can't invite people to take part in the fun if in fact they can not. (comments are closed on that thread)

posted by: Gordon on 07.19.05 at 02:12 AM [permalink]

Actually I think Simon is just giving MAJ the rope he needs...

I can understand Richard's not wanting to host MAJs' mad comments, but did it ever occur to you that maybe Simon just wants to study MAJ for a change?

Besides, his IP addresses are being logged all over the place now....

posted by: Gordon on 07.19.05 at 02:24 AM [permalink]

Hey Simon, thanks for the shout out on my new HK edition. Look forward to reading more of your site (i'll be honest, I don't gaze upon HK blogs enough..) and maybe we can meet up in the future.



posted by: Dezza on 07.19.05 at 03:02 AM [permalink]

Thanks Gordon - comments are open. And people can always use the latest open thread.

posted by: richard on 07.19.05 at 03:13 AM [permalink]

Oh and here's his latest:

posted by: richard on 07.19.05 at 03:36 AM [permalink]

I'm pretty ambivalent about all this excitement, being a forgive and forget, live and let live kinda KLS, but shall register my displeasure at reading an essay-full of MAJ squabbling masquerading as a letter addressed to me. don't rope me into this bemusing feuding. all the best now.

posted by: KLS on 07.19.05 at 04:31 AM [permalink]

Dezza - you're welcome.

Everyone else - believe it or not, MAJ is welcome to comment here. The only commenters to get banned here are spammers and those that step over the line. Where's the line? In the end, that's up to me, but I'm pretty tolerant and broad minded. As long as we avoid defamatory and personal attacks, racism and panda pron, anything goes...within reason. As my disclaimer says, if you say it, you need to stand by it. It only reflects on you, not me.

As always, I reserve the right to change my mind with or without reason or explanation.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 09:30 AM [permalink]

After further research on this entire fiasco, I'm going to recant on my previous comments encouraging Simon to allow MAJs' letter to remain in public view.

Instead of impersonating a psychologist, he needs to go see one.

posted by: Gordon on 07.19.05 at 10:23 AM [permalink]

Dear Laowai,

I must take issue with you I'm afraid, when you try to justify Richard's censorship on the grounds that he is representing nobody but himself, whereas the CCP are responsible for an entire nation. I mean really Laowai, that is surely obvious, isn't it?

The question isn't whether Richard's practice of censorship is more harmful or significant than that of the CCP's. Of course, it goes without saying that when the state censors its citizens, that that is far more serious in its impacts and implications than the censoring of blog commentators by the owner of a blog site. Perhaps you are just trying to be disagreeably facetious?

The problem with Richard is that he publically claims to be appalled by the CCP's use of censorship, presumably because he regards censorship as being socially irresponsible, undemocratic, and morally wrong. If he is to be taken seriously, if he is sincere, then surely he ought to set a good example? Surely his own behaviour ought to be consistent with the principles he claims to espouse and to value? Otherwsie, how can anybody take him or his site or his criticisms of the CCP seriously?

And if you want yet another example of how spiteful and childish Richard can be, he has, since yesterday I have noticed, removed his link to Binfeng's blog, the Binfeng Teahouse, as a punishment to Binfeng for posting my criticisms on his site - yet he has not removed his link to Simon World.

This brings me to another problem with Richard's behaviour - he is not fair on his contributors. In order to be seen as being fair, one must ACTUALLY be fair - and to be fair, one must ALWAYS be consistent. Well I'm sorry, but Richard is everything but consistent. He censors and bans those who mildly and politely criticise some of his views, while allowing others to make personal attacks on other readers using the most foul of language. Bellevue was banned for using bad language when insulting others, but it is quite acceptable for Martyn or Sam or American Man to use such language - in fact, when they employ the use of expletives to personal insult others, it is excused as humour.

And now, today, we have Binfeng punished for posting my comments, but Simon left untouched.

Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 10:54 AM [permalink]

Simon, he posted the same comment on at least five different blogs. That means he went from blog to blog posting the identical message to meet a need (be it attention, or whatever). That is what spam is. Isn't it? If not, tell me, an I welcome to duplicate all my posts here? Would you like that? But of course, I would never do that. Normal people don't do that sort of thing. Sorry if I sound annoyed, but I am disappointed.

posted by: richard on 07.19.05 at 10:56 AM [permalink]

You've lost one daily reader. Sorry mate. I'd say the same if this vendetta was aimed at you. Fortunately it isn't.

posted by: Martyn on 07.19.05 at 11:01 AM [permalink]

All - If there is more going here than meets the eye, then let me know. Until such time, there is nothing MAJ has said that is outside the bounds of acceptable commenting at this site.

Matryn - I'm sorry you feel that way. You are always free to skip the comments section.

Richard - I understand where you are coming from. MAJ has posted the same comment in several places, partly because it was deleted under pressure from other sites. As I've said, there is nothing in his comments as they appear here that are out of line. If there are other issues, let me know so I can make an informed decision. Until that time, his comments stand.

MAJ - to some extent you are right. But you miss the point. Richard's or any site is the properitors' property, with which they can do as they like. You may find it hypocritical. As I've said several times, go and start your own site and create your own content and comments policy.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 11:14 AM [permalink]

Dear All:

What we have here speaks for itself.

Look, my behaviour over at Richard's Peking Duck blog has been explained. I explained my bizarre behaviour in my comments above, and whether I am insane or not is hardly a significant issue for most people.

I have simply raised what I see are a few legitimate problems with Richard's Peking Duck site regarding censorship issues. Richard has responded by pressuring those blog owners who have allowed me the space to raise my views by removing links to their sites, and now we once again see the pack mentality in action, with some of his supporters (followers) stating their intentions to boycott sites.

Well, I may behave immaturely at times, yes. I'm the first to plead guilty on that one. But I'm hardly alone, it would seem!

Simon - we may disagree on many issues, like Iraq, but I do admire and respect both you and Binfeng for not caving in to pressure by those who cannot bare to tolerate criticism from others. I noticed that Uriel, in the link I provided in my comments above, also acknowledged respect for you for refusing to give in to pressure from Richard over a similar issue.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 11:16 AM [permalink]

Dear Simon,

I don't think that I have missed the point here, as I have already acknowledged the fact that Richard has every right to censor as he pleases.

I am merely questioning the wisdom of this. Once again, the question I raise is over whether of not Richard can be taken seriously when he criticises the CCP for censorship, when he himself practices censorship. How sincere is he, when he argues that the CCP's use of censorship is undemocratic and "evil"? If he does not practice what he preaches, then how can he and his site be taken serioulsy? That's ALL I'm saying. Richard, I think, needs to think about this - he needs to engage in a little self-criticism, perhaps?

And if he wants to be seen as being a fair-minded person, then he needs to formulate some very clear rules, and he then needs to follow them very consistently.

Now look, if he doesn't want to be seen as being fair, if he doesn't mind being seen as a hypocrite, if he doesn't mind not being taken too seriously, then fine! He has, as you say, every right to continue running his site as he has been.

Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 11:27 AM [permalink]

Dear Simon,

I have just noticed that Richard, being the mature [edit] man that he is, has also now removed his link to Simon World as a punishment for giving me a voice in cyberspace.

I was not expecting him to punish other blog owners in this way, and it is not in my interests to damage your site in any way. I will not, therefore, be too upset if you remove my comments - though if you do decide to remove them, I would appreciate it very much if you would let it be known that you did so at my invitation.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 11:37 AM [permalink]


richard is not always fair, nobody is always fair, i had violent debates with richard and compared with commentators who stood with his views, i was treated not fairly enough (like some name callings towards me not handled properly), but as simon adn others indicated, peking duck is richard's kingdom, he has the right to do things good or bad in his kingdom, we could complain and protest but we couldn't force it to change, you just can't force a person to become "mature". many of your points do make sense, but distibuting letters like this one doesn't solve the problem, if you believe many commentators in peking duck are not balanced enough, tehn why don't you make your contributions there or establish your own blog? i have posted your letter at teahouse and won't remove it, now may i suggest you to do something more constructive - like making intelligent comments here in simon world. if you don't like peking duck, just ignore it and move on ... as for richard's removing the teahouse link, it's fine with me, i'm pretty sure he is now as emotional as you but still he understands simon world is much more influential than teahouse, calling it racism or pragmatism, it shows richard somehow trying to control his emotion ...

and again, MAJ, you can make very intelligent comments when your energy is directed towards more constructive topics

posted by: bingfeng on 07.19.05 at 11:39 AM [permalink]

I'll echo what Bingfeng said, MAJ.

What Richard does on his site is his perogative, as what I do on this site is mine. If he chooses to link or not to my site, it's up to him. I won't lie - it's disappointing. But it's his decision.

OK, it's fair to say this topic is spent. Let's move on.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 11:46 AM [permalink]

Dear Simon and Binfeng,

Allow me to have the last word - sorry, some old habits I'm afraid, do die hard :)

Once again, I acknowledge and understand that Richard has every right to run his site the way he wants to. I have NEVER suggested otherwise! I am merely commenting about the way he runs it, critically, yes, but my criticisms I beleive are valid ones.

I agree with the both of you, that it is time for me to move on, and to find alternative blogs sites to contribute to. I do already contribute to other sites, but not China-related ones. Because I live in China though, I do have an interest in continuing with a China blog, and so perhaps I will frequent Simon World and Binfeng Teahouse instead from now on - and I will certainly take more care to ensure that I acknowledge all of my sources from now on - I have learnt a lesson in this respect! Even though I may only be making blog comments, there is still a need to take greater care when using sources. O.K. I can appreciate that more clearly now. I had my fingers burnt, and have since been very sensitive to the touch, though they are now almost healed.

Thanks again to the both of you for taking such an honourable stand in not allowing Richard and his henchmen to pressure you into censoring my comments.

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 12:10 PM [permalink]

At Richard's very reasonable request, all references to his age and his surname have been removed. Please refrain from referring to either.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 12:30 PM [permalink]

Well, Richard has put Simon World back up as a link, but not Binfeng Teahouse - even though both have now removed all references to his age and surname. Why the inconsistent treatment, I wonder?

Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 12:46 PM [permalink]

Guys, my blogroll is a very personal thing. I link to sites I respect and read. If I stop reading them, I stop linking. I am reading Simon and I link to him. I am no longer reading BF's site so I don't link to it. Peace to all of you, and I hope that those here who think for themselves can see what MAJ is up to. It is not normal and it's not healthy. Look at how he's done here what he did at my site - turned the comments into a forum all about himself. He himself acknowledged his comments were a game to see the kinds of reactions he could ignite. So, I have to admit that right now I am acting as his pawn, as are the rest of us. So let me go. Meanwhile, I am relieved he will make this his new home. Simon, he's all yours.

posted by: richard on 07.19.05 at 12:53 PM [permalink]

Who are you kidding Richard? Yesterday Binfeng Teahouse was included in your list of links. He posts my comments, and the very following day the site is removed from the list, and shortly afterwards, Simon World is also removed, and because Simon had commited the same crime.

You then put Simon's site back up, but not the Binfeng Teahouse - and you expect everybody to believe that you deleted it from your list simply because you personally no longer read it! A little childish and irrational, don't you think?

Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 01:06 PM [permalink]

No, you have it all wrong. After BF hosted your bizarre post about me, divulging aspects of my personal life, I stopped reading his site, and therefore stopped linking to it. It's that simple. If I stop reading it, I stop linking. But why are we here discussing my blogroll? Is it of that much interest to you? Is it also of such interest to dig up personal information on me and paste it wherever you can to embarrass me? Is it the best use of your time? I realize someone who says he is a 64-year-old female doctor one day and someone named Bryce the next and the someone named Steve L. has to be going through some confusion. But really, just tell us: Why are you doing this? Do you think this makes you look good? Admirable? Noble? What's up?

posted by: richard on 07.19.05 at 01:18 PM [permalink]

Rich, you are delighting Simon. Look at how many comments are here because of you! This is a goldmine for Simon, and you are playing into Jones' hands by responsing to him. Nip it here. Most of us know psychosis when we see it, and Jones has no credibility anymore. And engaging him does you no favors. You can't win when you are dealing with a psychopath. Email me later; some of us have some great ideas about how to handle Jones.

posted by: boo on 07.19.05 at 01:26 PM [permalink]

Look Richard - I am not out to embarrass you by mentioning your age or name. How is your surname an embarrassment to you anyway? I came across it by accident - it is mentioned elsewhere on Simon World, in Uriel's posts (the link to one of them is above), and elswhere. There is even a nice photograph of you on the web.

I acknowledge and accept most of your criticisms of me, of my recent behaviour. I am simply raising a few criticisms of my own, and I think they are valid and reasonable criticisms. I am not being over the top here am I, surely?

It's O.K. for you to launch into a vicious anti-MAJ campaign, even days after I posted a comment into your first initial help thread, offering you financial assistence in the event that you ever visit Shenzhen! You quickly deleted the thread, not wanting anybody to see that I had behaved so warmly towards you, and you then, a few days later, encouraged all of your readers to join in on a witch hunt. And I'm the psychopathic vindictive sadist, and you're not, right? We seem to have an awful lot in common with one another, don't we Richard?

And Boo, you and all of Richard's other henchmen can gather together to see what you can do to prevent me from expressing my views on other people's blog sites - that's fine. I have nothing to hide. I even met up with Sam from Shenzhen a few days ago for a drink. My identity is no secret, nor is my address or the company I work for. And my age and surname is no secret either!

Best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 01:43 PM [permalink]

Boo - this might surprise you, but I'm not doing anything here. MAJ posted, others have responded. It is how my comment section works. I'm not sure how you are able to guage my emotions, my "delight" or otherwise at this thread. That said, you hit the nail on the head. Everyone's comments are open for all to see. People can draw their own conclusions.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 03:10 PM [permalink]

"When you argue with a fool, he's doing the same thing."

-- American folk saying

posted by: GaijinBiker on 07.19.05 at 03:16 PM [permalink]

MAJ, just like most things richard's site has plenty of merits and also some demerits. but the fact that you deliberately wound everyone up there means you have no credible platform on which to denounce the demerits.
yes, he doesn't like certain criticism. and he gives free rein to certain commenteers who I became allergic to.
but it's not like he's a public figure or anything, so why take your campaign into other people's blogs? as has been mentioned repeatedly, if people don't like the site, they leave the site.

speaking of sites, where else has MAJ's "letter" been published? as the addressee I feel I have an interest.

final though, MAJ may be a moron, but you've got to enjoy sentences like this:
"and whether I am insane or not is hardly a significant issue for most people"!!!

posted by: KLS on 07.19.05 at 03:18 PM [permalink]

Dear Gaijin Biker - wise saying you have there. I agree, when I'm arguing with a fool like Richard, he is doing the same thing. And when he argues with a fool like me, I too, likewise, am doing the same. I don't pretend otherwise - I have already acknowledged and accepted Richard's criticisms of my behaviour. But I think some of my criticisms about his lack of consistency, and about his use of censorship, are fair and valid nevertheless.

Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 03:21 PM [permalink]


in no matter what circumstances, disclosing other's real name, age, IP address, etc. without getting approval is an unacceptable behavior.

as i said before, you have made some good points, and for those who have the capability of self-reflecting, they will learn soemthing from your comments. that's enough. you don't have to degenerate it into a nasty personal war to make your points more persuasive.

pls relax, have some beer and do some sports, then setup your own blog, maybe?

posted by: bingfeng on 07.19.05 at 03:22 PM [permalink]

Dear KLS,

I think it must be clear by now that I am deliberately acting the part of "moron" - and I'm enjoying it. Why should I have to be sensible and level-headed all the time? Cyberspace can be quite liberating!

I have posted my criticisms on the Binfeng Teahouse site and on Paper Tiger, though the Other Lisa deleted the Paper Tiger entry. So as far as I am aware, it exists only on this site, and on Binfeng's site.

As far as your other question goes, well, why take any campaign anywhere? What is fundamentally wrong with me stimulating some conversation on this site about the issues of censorship, using Peking Duck as the vehicle, or stimulus, if you like?

Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 03:29 PM [permalink]

Dear Binfeng,

With all respect, I don't think that I am being in any way "nasty" towards Richard by making a few valid cricisms about his use of censorship. I agree with most of his criticisms of me and my behaviour, and I am simply making a few criticisms of my own - and I have phrased my criticisms in a polite, friendly language.

I take your point about me mentioning his age and surname, but this information is already available on the net - it is hardly much of a secret. His name is mentioned elsewhere on Simon World, on Uriel's sites, etc.

And as for disclosing people's IP addresses - I have NEVER done that. Richard, on the otherhand, has disclosed my IP address on his Peking Duck site, and on this site as well.

best regards,
Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 03:56 PM [permalink]

There are far better things we could all be discussing than this. For example, I recommend reading Why we need a strong China.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 04:07 PM [permalink]

Dear Binfeng,

Richard has revealed, both on his own site and on this one, my personal IP address. Nobody attacks him for this.

I refer to him by his full name, and I mention his age, and I am attacked for revealing "personal" information without his permission.

But look, I have Not revealed anything about Richard which he himself and others have not already revealed on the web. Richard himself also happily reveals his age on the following web site, for ALL the world to see: [deleted]

Now look - HE (NOT ME) has revealed his age and his surname, on the WEB for all the world to see! And Simon World, and Uriel have both referred to Richard's full name in the past, once again, on the web, for all to see. See Uriel's site, for example, which also details Richard's practice of censorship. It's titled "The Perils and Agonies of Free Speech" (at www.urielw.com/bosco1.htm)

I have NOT revealed anything about Richard that he himself and others have not already revealed on the web. He however, has revealed my IP addresses!

Mark Anthony Jones

posted by: Mark Anthony Jones on 07.19.05 at 07:04 PM [permalink]

MAJ and others, I will say this only once more. Richard has requested and I have agreed to NOT post his full name or age. You will respect my decision and you will NOT post his full name or age on this site.

This is the last warning. I've allowed this discussion MAJ, but you need to respect my rules. It may be you can find this information through other means, but not through here.

With that, this thread is closed.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 07:12 PM [permalink]

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